Miami is vibrant, lively, and has a cultural diversity that makes anyone feel at home. And the city’s culinary scene is one of the best in the US, with some of the most acclaimed and best restaurants in the country.
The city has beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, great restaurants, top hotels, is a shopping paradise, has a wide selection of museums, and splendid outdoor parks. So, Miami has enough qualities to please everyone.
It doesn’t matter if you’re going to the Art Basel – America’s Largest Contemporary Art Fair – hang around the beaches of South Beach, pedal through Key Biscayne, or shop in the Design District. This list has a curated selection of the best restaurants you should visit on your next trip to Miami.
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Miami’s best restaurants to visit
Mandolin Aegean Bistro
Mandolin Aegean Bistro is a charming Mediterranean restaurant that will transport you (at least for a few minutes) to the whitewashed scenery of a Greek island. The outdoor setting with wooden tables surrounded by trees will make you forget that you’re in one of the busiest cities in Florida.
The menu at Mandolin includes the best of the Greek and Turkish cuisine, with many mezze, salads, and main dishes to indulge in. Their Athenian Spritz is the best way to start your meal as you choose a few treats to share with the table, such as the delicious Roasted Cauliflower, Greek Salad, Grilled Calamari, and the Whole Seabass.
Also, apart from being one of my favorite places to eat in the city, Mandolin is one of the best restaurants in Miami and a hype spot in the Design District. Getting a table can be tricky because they attract a loyal Miami crowd, so be sure to make a reservation ahead.
If you get hungry while strolling around the artsy Wynwood neighborhood, stop by KYU, one of the best restaurants in Miami, famous for its contemporary Asian menu.
Of the many delicious dishes at KUY, the roasted cauliflower is probably the flagship – you can see it being ordered by many tables. Also, the menu of this Miami restaurant features other exquisite dishes, and you can’t go wrong when ordering the Duck Breast “Burnt Ends”, the Pork Buns, and the Korean Fried Chicken.
Born in New York’s Greenwich Village and known for serving sophisticated versions of the famous classics of Italo-American cuisine, today Carbone has a Michelin star on its resume. Now, the restaurant is also available in Miami!
Carbone’s Spicy Vodka Rigatoni is the restaurant’s jewel – al dente, creamy, and just spicy enough. Also, the Caesar Salad, prepared tableside with unique seasoning and an abundance of anchovies, is considered one of the best in the world.
Other highlights of this top restaurant in Miami include the great Veal Parmesan, the Linguini Vongole, and the Tortellini al Ragu.
Finally, with all the allure, it’s easy to imagine how hard it could be to get a table at Carbone, so don’t forget to book beforehand (reservations open 30 days in advance).
Doya is a modern Aegean Meze Bar Restaurant in Wynwood, one of Miami’s top places to visit. Here, the appeal is the plates that are beautifully prepared over wood and coal fire. And what makes Doya one of the best restaurants in Miami are the delicious dishes such as the Zucchini & Spinach Pancake, the Roasted Eggplant, and the Whole Grilled Branzino that can be shared with the entire table.
And talking about tables, at Doya you can choose to eat in their charmingly decorated dining room or at the bar seating while enjoying a few drinks. But my favorite is their adorable outdoor patio shielded from the sidewalk by a mini garden refuge, making you forget you’re in busy Wynwood.
Set in a boutique inn, Casa Tua is a classic Italian restaurant in Miami Beach with a lush outdoor patio and refined dining rooms. So, whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, headed out for a date night, or just celebrating life, Casa Tua is for sure one of the best restaurants in Miami. Of Casa Tua’s delicious menu, the Bigoli Cacio e Pepe and Tiramisu are some of the best you can dine on in Miami.
Looking at the low-profile exterior of Boia De, you wouldn’t expect it to make this list of restaurants in Miami. However, this restaurant on the edge of Little Haiti serves some of the most exciting dishes in the city – an Italian menu with a contemporary twist.
The menu at Boia De is entirely perfect, with the centerpiece being the Crispy Polenta, the Beef Tartare, the Bone Marrow, and Lamb Ribs Fra Diavola. However, you can’t go wrong with anything that you order. And don’t forget to try their selection of natural wines!
If you’re visiting Superblue Miami, the interactive and futuristic spot in the city, and looking for a restaurant nearby, Leku is your best choice.
Leku is located in front of Superblue Miami, in the contemporary Rubell Museum, and offers an amusing modern Basque menu. Here, the dishes are beautifully presented, and highlights include the Ibérico 5 Jotas, Croquetas de Ibérico 5 Jotas, and Arroz de Setas a la Brasa.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ: The Complete Guide to Superblue Miami
Joe’s Stone Crab
Joe’s Stone Crab is a Miami institution and probably the most famous restaurant in the city. They are known to have the best stone crabs in Miami, but also for other dishes like fried chicken and creamed spinach.
When visiting Joe’s Stone Crab, don’t overindulge in the crabs to save room for the Key Lime Pies, which are deemed the most delicious in Miami.
Call Me Gaby
South Beach can be quite busy, but you can enjoy a delightful Italian meal, either for lunch or dinner, at the lovely terrace of Call Me Gaby.
Call Me Gaby isn’t yet on the major lists of top restaurants in Miami, but it can be an excellent spot for a full meal or even just for a coffee or a drink in the late afternoon. On the menu, delight yourself with the Italian classics like Carpaccio di Bresaola and Focaccia, Pappardelle Bolognese, Spaghetti alle Vongoli, Naples-style pizzas, and homemade tiramisu – all excellent.
Forte dei Marmi
Think of the tasty Italian coastal cuisine served in a typical Tuscan villa in South Beach. This is Forte dei Marmi. The restaurant breathes Bella Italia in every way: the entire staff speaks Italian among themselves, the food is timeless Italian, and even the beer is artisanal – from Italy, of course.
Forte dei Marmi is one of the best restaurants in South Beach, and it’s a guarantee of a perfect dinner for two, especially if you sit on the restaurant’s charming terrace, whose beautiful garden was designed by the Swiss landscaper Enzo Enea.
Finally, the menu at Forte dei Marmi is by Antonio Mellino, who is also the chef and owner of the famous two-Michelin-star Quattro Passi on the Amalfi Coast. Of the delights, the Truffle Cacio e Pepe is a must-try.
Recognized as one of the best seafood restaurants in Miami, at Estiatorio Milos you’ll find an unbelievable selection of delicious fish. The daily catch sometimes arrives by chartered plane from the Mediterranean and Greece, just hours before reaching your plate.
Apart from the fish, you should try the Greek Salad and the Milos Special at Estiatorio Milos.
Prime 112 is a temple for meat lovers and the sanctuary of family-sized appetizers, side dishes, and huge desserts.
Located in the historic Browns Hotel, Prime 112 introduced a modern take on the traditional steakhouse style, offering a vibrant ambiance and an innovative approach to classic American recipes.
The menu includes exceptional seafood such as the Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail and fabulous cuts of meat such as the Porterhouse and the New York Strip, specializing in dry-aged preparation. The half-pound burger is also a sensation on its own. And don’t overlook the Wagyu Short Ribs Sliders that come with caramelized onions and are irresistible.
Because Prime 112 is one of the best restaurants in Miami (and the favorite steakhouse of celebrities and Miami Heat players alike), at dinner, it’s almost impossible to get a table without a reservation.
Los Fuegos By Francis Mallmann
Los Fuegos is a venture of renowned Argentine chef Francis Mallmann and one of the top restaurants in Miami. The restaurant, which offers an open-fire kitchen experience, is located in the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach.
At Lost Fuegos, the menu includes distinctive flavors in flawlessly cooked dishes. The Parilladas are perfect for two, and the Mediterranean Branzino is a good choice if you aren’t into steaks.
Quinto La Huella
Quinto La Huela is the American version of an acclaimed restaurant from Uruguay – Parador La Huella – that opened its doors in Brickell’s EAST Hotel.
The rustic chic dining room and terrace with city views are the perfect settings for the fantastic menu, made with authentic open-fire parrilla and a wood-fired oven. And though the menu includes a selection of meat and seafood dishes, the Entrecôte is what most people want.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE TO READ: The Best Things to do in Miami
Tips for visiting Miami
Getting to Miami
Miami International Airport, 8 miles from Brickell and 12 miles from Miami Beach, receives domestic and international flights. Additionally, you can fly into Fort Lauderdale airport, 38 miles from Brickell.
Miami airport has Metrorail services – the Orange Line takes you to areas such as Miami Beach, Brickell, and Coconut Grove. The Miami Beach Airport Express bus runs every half hour and goes to Miami Beach from 41st Street to South Pointe Drive. It is also possible to take a taxi, Uber, Lyft, or book a shuttle transfer.
Getting around Miami
Car is still the best option to get from one place to another in Miami. Apps like Uber and Lyft are still the best way to get around Miami, as they are cheaper than traditional taxis, and you won’t need to worry about parking if you rent a car. However, renting a car is worth it if you’re planning on visiting other cities in Florida.
The best things to do in Miami
The best time to visit Miami
December to March (winter) is considered the peak season: hotel prices go up, and the city is packed and festive, with temperatures between 590 F and 790 F. Spring Break, usually in March, fills Miami Beach with partygoers. May marks a strategic break between the high season and summer heat, but there can be storms. June, July, and August are the rainiest months, and September and October have mild temperatures. November is an excellent choice: the sea is still warm, rains very little, and hotel prices are not high.
Where to stay in Miami
The best places to stay in Miami to explore its top attractions are Brickell and Miami Beach. Of them, these are a few hotels to consider:
BEST HOTELS IN BRICKELL
- SLS LUX Brickell: a perfect hotel that is strategically located close to many eateries, Brickell City Centre, Bayfront Park, and American Airlines Arena. The swimming pool is gorgeous and surrounded by cabanas where you can cool down and relax.
- Mandarin Oriental: located in Brickell Key, Mandarin is one of the best 5-star hotels in Miami. Here, you’ll be pampered with all the luxury amenities and have access to La Mar by Gaston Acurio and its Peruvian fare.
- EAST Miami: the highlight of this Brickell hotel is the 4 swimming pools which include a lap pool, spa pool, cold plunge, and hot tub. It’s also exceptionally well located, and, in the hotel, you’ll find Sugar, a 40th-floor rooftop bar, and Quinto La Huella, a famed and authentic Uruguayan restaurant.
BEST HOTELS IN SOUTH BEACH/MIAMI BEACH
- 1 Hotel South Beach: an oceanfront hotel with a private beach area and many on-site dining options. It features 4 swimming pools, including a gorgeous adults-only rooftop pool, and is one of the best hotels in Miami.
- W South Beach: a beachfront hotel with ocean views, on-site pools, and dining options that include Mr. Chow (Asian cuisine). The amenities are some of the best you can find in Miami, and W is certainly one of the top places to stay in the city.
- Faena Hotel: a dreamy, luxury hotel in Miami, with great amenities that include the red beach chairs and umbrellas that are Pinterest-worthy. At Faena, you’ll also find the famous Pao by Paul Qui, which has an Asian-inspired menu by a Top Chef winner.
- The Miami Beach EDITION: a luxury hotel in Miami that has it all: a bowling alley, nightclub, an on-site ice-skating rink, and other features that will make you not want to leave this place.
After reading about the best restaurants in Miami, you might also like to read:
- All you need to plan your visit to Superblue Miami
- Top things to do in Miami
- A complete 3-day itinerary to Miami
- The best things to do in Miami: top attractions of the city
- Where to stay in Mexico City: The best hotels and neighborhoods
- The ultimate guide to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
- The best restaurants in Mexico City
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